Trek Relief: Mongolia

DESTINATION: Ulaanbaatar, Terelj National Park, and Central Mongolia

Activities: 3 days of horseback riding & light trekking, 1 day Naadam festival (July), 5 day tour via Russian Uaz camper


What to Expect

AccommodatioN and showers

Accommodations are on a shared basis. In Ulaanbaatar, you will be staying in a guesthouse. During any trips around the country, you will be staying with nomadic families in a traditional Mongolian ger (yurt). Individual gers are simple but always cozy and comfortable, usually featuring four to six wooden beds. In the countryside, expect simple facilities with traditional pit toilets and no showers. Please bring washcloths, and we will be providing washing bins. Laundry services are available only in Ulaanbaatar.

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Food and water

Mutton, rice and noodles form the basis of the Mongolian diet. However, the trail rations may include vegetables, eggs, peanut butter, cheese and sometimes yak! If you are have any special dietary restrictions or allergies, please let us know in the volunteer application form so that we can make adequate preparations for you. Though all food is covered on the trip, we encourage you to bring snacks and comfort foods from home for variety.

We will be supplying mineral water from our vehicle during the 6-day tour of Central Mongolia, but please consider bringing a water purification system for the 3-day eco-trek through Terelj National Park. The tap water in the cities is safe to drink, but mineral water is recommended.

Electricity

The voltage in Mongolia is 220 V and the plugs used are C or E. You will find limited opportunities to charge your batteries in the gers. Please come prepared by bringing a a universal plug adaptor, headlamp/flashlight, extra camera batteries and a backup battery bank. 

Internet is available in large cities, and if you choose to get a SIM card you will have pretty good service on some parts of the road.

Weather

Mongolia can experience four seasons in a day. With more than 260 sunny days a year, Mongolia is known as the 'Land of the Blue Sky'.

Ulaanbaatar is considered the coldest capital city in the world. Temperatures can drastically start to drop below 0°C in late October, and cold biting temperature of to -30°C in January and February and remain below freezing till April. July to September is pleasant, but it can still turn cold.

The average monthly temperature and precipitation in Ulaanbaatar , the capital of Mongolia.

Transportation

You will have the opportunity to experience various forms of transportation in Mongolia. On the 3-day eco trek through Terelj National Park, horses and and oxcart will be provided for your riding leisure, or you may choose to trek alongside the pack. Our 6-day road trip through Central Mongolia will be in a classic Russian Uaz (УАЗ) camper vehicle.

Training for the Trek

The physical activity level of our Mongolia trip is moderate, since half of the trip will be touring the country by vehicle. You may choose to do the 3-day eco trek in Terelj National Park by horseback, on the oxcart, or on foot - come prepared for full days of trekking through the hills and plains of the park. 

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Travel Information

Mongolian visa

If you are traveling from the USA you do not need a visa if visiting for fewer than 90 days, but your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your date of arrival. For stays for more than 30 days, register with Mongolian Immigration within seven days of arrival.

Money and tips

US Dollars are often accepted, especially in Ulaanbaatar, but it is also useful to carry some cash in the local currency, the Tugrik. ATMs and money changers can be found at the airport and throughout Ulaanbaatar. However, there will not be many opportunities to take out or exchange money after leaving Ulaanbaatar. Please prepare accordingly if you plan on buying souvenirs or alcohol on the trip.

Trek Relief does not cover tips - this is up to your discretion. Tipping your guide is expected and is not included in the trip cost.

Immunizations

No special vaccinations are required for travel in Mongolia.

 

Gearing Up

MEDICAL/FIRST AID

  • Aspirin or other analgesic, antacids, decongestants, throat lozenges, and other medications that you use for common ailments

  • Pepto-Bismol or similar medications

  • Over-the-counter laxatives or fiber supplements (to alleviate possible constipation)

  • Band-Aids, antiseptic, and topical antibiotic

  • Motion sickness preventives (if likely to be needed)

  • Insect repellent

  • Sunscreen

  • Chapstick and moisturizers (highly recommended for the dry climate)

  • Hiking poles

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Snapshots of home, work, and family to use as non-verbal openers

  • Hard candies and high energy snack food such as granola bars or chocolate

  • Dried snacks/food and beverage items, if desired

CLOTHING

  • Comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots

  • Sandals

  • Casual pants such as blue jeans or khakis

  • Long-sleeved shirts

  • Clean change of clothes for city wear

  • Sweater, sweatshirt, or polar-fleece jacket

  • Lightweight poncho, rain jacket, or waterproof windbreaker; waterproof pants

EQUIPMENT

  • Broad-brimmed sunhat

  • Sunglasses

  • Binoculars

  • Headlamp

  • Day pack and/or hip pack

  • Soft-sided luggage bag for countryside trips

  • Zip lock bags

  • Electrical converter/adapter plug

  • Water bottle

  • Bandannas (for dusty drives)

  • Washcloths to reduce baby wipes waste